How Can You Tax Lien and Tax Deed Invest if You Don’t Live In the US

How Can You Tax Lien and Tax Deed Invest if You Don’t Live In the US

I have received this question a lot from my friends in outside the US who hear about the concept of Tax Lien investing.

“Can I invest in Tax liens and Tax deeds even though I am a foreign citizen and don’t live in the US.”

The question is yes. As long as an investor can get a US TAX Identification number, which can be obtained from the IRS fairly simple, even a foreign citizen not living in the US, can invest in Tax Liens and Tax Deeds.

But just as any other Tax Delinquent Property investor, an International investor needs to make sure he do all the necessary due diligence before bidding;

In my experience the most important areas to do Due diligence on are:




– CONDITION of the property

These should be checked prior to investing any money.

Since the international investor lives hundreds if not thousands of miles from the subject properties, obviously the due diligence can not happen on site and in person.

Therefore there are two options:

  1. do the due diligence via phone, and software tools like google earth, county provided aerial pictures databases, and mapquest/ live search..
  2. the second less hands on option is to hire the services of a Real Estate professional who for a fee is usually more than willing to visit the property for you, take some pictures and do all the necessary research for the investor..

If the auction is online, then the investor can attend it virtually. If it is live, the following two options exist;

Travel to the auction location, although the travel costs cuts into the Investment Profits.

Again hire someone to go to the auction in place of the investor armed with detailed directions on what they should bid on and how low or high they are allowed to go..

A third less known option is for the investor to wait until the actual auction is over, then request a list of all “left-over” properties, which are also called “over the counter tax liens.”

These are usually available without any bidding, but just sending a cashier’s check to the county along with the details on the desired Tax Lien ID, the Property ID, the investor’s Tax ID and Bidder ID and the county in turn will then mail the investor the desired Tax Lien Certificates (if still available at the time the mail gets to the county).

The advantage here is that the investor can do all the work without particular time pressure from home on the phone and computer.

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